“In Silicon Valley, the march for diversity and inclusion is just beginning.” — Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.
“The data we have seen coming from tech companies is deplorable and unacceptable and most of these companies recognize that,” Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield said. “Many of the technology companies have African Americans as very loyal customers, and many of those don’t have any African Americans on their boards,” Butterfield added in a statement.
Today members of the Congressional Black Caucus will formalize and extend an effort began by Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. to build diversity in the tech sector. Data released by several tech companies has revealed that the industry is monolithically male and predominately white. Over the next decade, over 3 million jobs are estimated to be created in the tech sector alone.
A push by Rev. Jackson last year led to Google becoming one of the first tech companies to release diversity data on their workforce. Currently 83% of tech workers are men and 60% white and African Americans make up 1% of tech workers. With the Black Caucus using their organized influence on the tech diversity issue, there are likely to be far more results and mush more energy on the tech diversity issue.
In March, Apple donated $50 million to non-profits focused on increasing the number of minorities, women and veterans in tech. The money included $40 million to the The Thurgood Marshall College Fund for scholarships, extra training and paid internships connected to the tech sector.
The biggest Black Caucus in history led by Rep. G. K. Butterfield will now have a task force that will evaluate companies performance on diversity and focus on diversity overall in the tech sector. Members of the Task Force will be Rep. Barbara Lee (CA),Rep. Maxine Waters (CA), Rep. Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX), Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY).
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. will attend tonight’s event and Ben Jealous will moderate tonight’s event at the Library of Congress.